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COVID-19 restrictions dock crew members for months

Kirsten Neuschafer came to the coast of Maine to work on a boat used for charters; now COVID-19 restrictions have kept her docked.

THOMASTON, Maine — Kirsten Neuschafer was the first female to qualify for the Golden Globe Race in 2022; a solo sailing race around the world. The race often takes competitors months, sometimes up to a year to finish. It takes years of training; a good boat; and corporate sponsors willing to help you along the way.

Kirsten has *one of those things: the boat, which is currently docked in Newfoundland. She is in Thomaston, where she's *in a sense* been stranded since the charter boat she was on came into port. She came to work and now COVID-19 restrictions have kept her docked.

"If border restrictions relax a little bit and clients can start flying in, maybe we can still do something; maybe go up to Greenland or something, but the chances are slim. So I think we are pretty much writing off our charter season," explains Kirsten, who instead, has been doing maintenance work on the boat. 

The longer she is kept away from her boat in Newfoundland, the less time she's spending training for GGR 2022. "I was one of the later entrants. I was speaking to some of the other participants and they had already been planning since 2015 to do this race, so they've had a lot of time to work on their boats... for me, I only decided last year around September," says Kirsten, who has a lot of work to do, not just on the boat she can't access right now; but on securing funding to help her make the race around the world. 

"My idea was to ask businesses for corporate sponsorship, but with what's going on with COVID-19 right now, it's not the right time to be asking for sponsorship."

To learn more about the Golden Globe Race, click here

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